SPRINGFIELD – The Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville is about to undergo a $13 million expansion to alleviate overcrowding and bring new jobs to central Illinois.
The Rushville TDF is the only facility in the state that houses residents classified as Sexually Violent Persons, and it is currently over capacity. It was designed to house 482 detainees and is now housing 507. The first phase of the construction project, which is set to begin in late February or early March, will add rooms for 96 residents. In addition to easing overcrowding, the expansion will create new construction jobs.
Funding for the first phase of the expansion exists from a previous capital bill, and construction is slated for completion by August. A second phase of construction will provide facilities for an additional 192 detainees once funds and contracts are secured.
"The state's facilities in Rushville are in desperate need of expansion, and the jobs created by a construction project like this will undoubtedly help the region's economy," State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said.
Sullivan introduced legislation to help facilitate this expansion by allowing for the transfer and temporary housing of TDF residents during construction. Senate Bill 93, as introduced, will allow the DHS to house Sexually Violent Persons at Chester Mental Health Center during the Rushville construction project. If passed, DHS will set aside a section of the Chester facility for TDF residents.
Chester Mental Health Center is the state's maximum-security mental health center. It houses criminal defendants who were found not guilty by reason of insanity or are mentally unfit to stand trial. The Chester facility was chosen because it can meet residents' care and security needs until construction at TDF is complete. While housed at Chester Mental Health Center, the TDF residents will be segregated from the rest of the population.
"During construction of the Rushville TDF, we need to ensure the safety and treatment of residents and employees while at the same time protect the communities that house them," Sullivan said.
A Sexually Violent Person is someone convicted of a violent sex crime and has been found to have a mental disorder. They also are likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released and are detained to protect the public as well as for treatment.
Senate Bill 93 has been referred to the Senate Human Services Committee.